AB5 and the War on Lyft/Uber expose why Black Jobs Matter

18 08 2020

Well, Lordy, lordy, who would have thought that a bad law and a pandemic would render a response from Civil Rights organizations that actually address the real needs of their people? The NAACP and other business and civil rights organizations sent an urgent letter to Governor Gavin Newsom calling for him to stop the war on the gig economy and to use his emergency powers to suspend #AB5, and to protect the work of drivers for Uber and Lyft.

Another anti-AB5 colleague found it, but I promptly tweeted it out:

NAACP Calls Newsom to Stop War on Gig Economy

For those of you who have been under a rock, #AB5 has all but decimated the economic prospects of independent contractors, freelancers, and gig workers in California. On top of this, the State of California is doing its utmost to end Uber and Lyft operations in California: filing lawsuits, lodging fines, and faux organizing by disgruntled drivers (totally engineered by the Labor Unions) in order to extract money that they claim the state and their drivers are owed.

Uber and Lyft have refused to cave, but in light of the court upholding an injunction forcing the app companies to convert their drivers to employees by August 20, both Uber and Lyft have said they will suspend operations in California through November. The vote on the Prop 22 ballot measure, which would allow Californians to decide whether these drivers should be able to be an independent contractor or an employee, will be the deciding factor.

Then Covid-19 with its subsequent lock downs and closed businesses rendered the death blow. Governor Newsom’s schizophrenic and inconsistent response and actions, appearing perfectly groomed and coiffed while the rest of us developed gray hairs and lumberjack beards, were just more nails in the coffin.

Both the evil law and the virus exposed unintended consequences (what else is new?). The fact that Blacks and Hispanics are more susceptible to the virus and more likely to be adversely affected by it, and the so-called experts still have no idea why this is the case. The lack of any proper measures beyond mask wearing has made some of us understandably cautious about trying to go among people and look for work—if there is any work to be had.

CBS News reported on a University of Santa Cruz research survey that found that 40 percent of Black businesses in major cities like New York, Minneapolis, and Los Angeles have been lost, and probably will never come back.

“There were more than 1 million black-owned businesses in the U.S. at the beginning of February, according to research from the University of California at Santa Cruz, which drew from Census survey estimates. By mid-April, 440,000 black business owners had shuttered their company for good — a 41% plunge. By comparison, 17% of white-owned businesses closed during the same period, the UC Santa Cruz research shows.”

Back in May, on my Communities Digital News page, I reported that women and minorities make up a huge chunk of independent contractors, and this law disenfranchises us; particularly during this pandemic, when we all could be working from home.

So, the fact that the NAACP recognizes this and took action came as a huge surprise. Writer baldilocks replied to my tweet with this apt response:

Baldilocks Response to NAACP Tweet

The rest of that phrase goes, “is right twice a day.” And it’s true. As much as the organization has moved away from true racial justice and equality, on this particular issue of the evils of AB5 and the Uber/Lyft war, it has stepped up to the plate.

Other organizations who sponsored the letter include the Los Angeles Urban League, Ex-Offender Action Network, and Independent Professionals Association.

It is quite an amazing missive, and you can read it in its entirety here. While I don’t agree with all its suggested solutions, the outlining of the case that AB5 and the injunctions against Uber and Lyft need to go is spot on.

An excerpt from the letter:

“The fact is that this crisis demands a new approach. COVID-19 has exposed just how broken the existing safety net programs are for people of color. Unemployment insurance in the U.S. is a patchwork of state-controlled programs originally designed to allow states to exclude Black domestic and agricultural workers during the Great Depression. The challenges faced by Black Americans in accessing unemployment assistance, business loans, and other pandemic assistance funding today are the direct result of racist policies that systematically disenfranchise Black Americans because they do not look like the traditional employees and businesses for whom these programs were designed.”

It ends with this:

“Governor, for African Americans, self-employment is not just a matter of pride – it is a matter of principle. Our people have been fighting for the right to profit from our own labor for over 400 years. We are proud of our resilience and entrepreneurship in the face of odds that have always been stacked against us. But while the coronavirus is destroying Black businesses, we must not allow this disease to destroy our independence.”

Boom. The NAACP laid bare to the Governor why Black JOBS Matter.

Let’s hope Newsom grows a brain and listens.

 





Evan Wecksell and AB5: A long-shot write-in candidate may just shake things up

2 03 2020

Evan Wecksell

This weekend, I was invited to a meet-and-greet for Senate District 25 Write-in Candidate Evan Wecksell.

Current District 25 State Senator Anthony Portantino is up for re-election, and would be running unopposed had it not been for Evan, and one other write-in candidate stepping up to the plate.

Thank God, because Portantino has to go. he has mostly been a rubber stamp for the progressive agenda: from his six-year-long career in the California State Assembly (2006-2012), to his four years in the State Senate (2016), he has followed the party line from his anti-gun ownership stance, to his promotion and vote for AB5, the so-called “Gig Workers” law that has removed our right to choose to work in the way that fits our lives, our schedules, and our preference.

As part of the Facebook groups where those affected by AB5 organize: Freelancers Against AB5 and Freelancers Against the PRO Act, I posted my research on write-in candidates for District 25, and Evan reached out to me personally and invited me to attend the event in Pasadena. Along with promoting it to my friends and colleagues in the district, Lynn and I attended.

Evan talked about his journey to becoming a write-in candidate, he talked at length about the AB5 law and why it needs to be repealed:

I took a few Facebook Live videos to curate his major points, and he had some ingenious ideas on how the focus on independent contractors could be approached, the perspective on responsible gun owners, and undoing onerous laws:

He acknowledged the long-shot nature of his candidacy, but encouraged us that through word of mouth, texting, lawn signs, business cards and informing people of his candidacy, he could get enough votes to make the runoff in November.

I was impressed by Evan’s attention to detail, game plan, and ground game. Truth be told, the other write-in candidate was weighed in the same balance, and found wanting.

California District 25 encompasses the cities and communities of Burbank, Sunland-Tujunga, Atwater Village, La Canãda-Flintridge, La Crescenta, Montrose, Glendale, Pasadena, Altadena, San Marino, Sierra Madre, Monrovia, Bradbury, Duarte, Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne, Claremont, Upland, and San Antonio Heights.

CA Senate District 25

Former Governor Jerry Brown signed a law outlawing write-in candidates for the general election; so this is the one opportunity in the crazy California jungle primary to disrupt the one-party rule. If you live in District 25 and you haven’t voted yet, write in “Evan Wecksell”. If you are particularly unhappy with the direction in the state, this is your chance to force a choice.





AB5 and the State of the State

26 02 2020

So our idiot Governor Gavin Newsom delivered his second State of the State address last week. All the elected crooks were in session, including the useless Attorney General Javier Beccerra, whose only job seems to be to sue the federal government, and Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis fulfilling one of her minimal duties of introducing the Governor’s address.

If California was not in such awful shape, it would have been comedy gold: much of it looked like a Saturday Night Live sketch, with Newsom entering like a rock star, while assembly members, state senators, and others clapped like trained seals, and Botox Barbie “first partner” Jennifer Siebel Newsom being fawned over. His hollow inflation of how well California is doing was fairly nauseating. It is like someone strutting, thinking they are runway fabulous, but their hairy ass is exposed.

For those in California, I recommend you view the whole thing and see how many lies you can catch. His spending three-quarters of his speech on how he will attack the homeless crisis in the state is particularly disingenuous. Newsom has been collectively shamed by President Trump and a few of the mayors of the larger cities where homelessness is rampant and destroying the quality of life for tax-paying residents. Total strangers like activist Scott Presler have gone into San Francisco to clean up the poop- and needle-laden streets. But Newsom’s attempt to slap a “rah-rah” face on the crisis comes off as castles in the air postulating. While he rattled off many declarations and ideas, he gave no solid plans toward their implementation.

He tweeted part of his brilliant strategy on Twitter:

Gavin Stupid 1

So doctors are now realtors? So I can go to my doctor and say, “I want to live in the Governor’s mansion—write me a prescription please!” Ludicrous. He was rightly ratioed by many us:

Gavin Newsom Ratio 1Gavin Newsom Ratio 2Gavin Newsom Ratio 3Gavin Newsom Ratio 5

The last ratio points to Governor Newsom signing AB5 into law, which got nary a mention in his speech. He did make this baldfaced claim:

“In city after city, household after household, the hard work of this legislature is making dreams more real for more Californians than ever before.

“When Justice Brandeis wrote in 1932 that ‘a single courageous state may…serve as a laboratory’ of democracy, he could easily have been referencing California today.

“Because, unlike the Washington plutocracy, California isn’t satisfied serving a powerful few on one side of the velvet rope.

The California Dream is for all.” (emphasis mine)

Are you kidding me?! Over 160 professions ripped apart due to the effects of AB5. For thousands of California constituents, the California Dream became the California Nightmare overnight. But let’s talk about how we are going to solve homelessness in the state, when Newsom’s signing of this landmine of a law has done more toward exacerbating the crisis! I joined in the ratio myself by pointing this out:

Gavin Newsom Ratio-my reply

The total lack of self-awareness boggles the mind. But like Assembly speaker Harridan Lorena, they do what their union overlords tell them to do and they refuse to back down or apologize. The only thing either of them will understand is being voted out. I and others are working on that part.

Republican Assemblyman Kevin Kiley has authored a repeal bill to AB5: AB1928. It has wended its way through committee and will come up for vote on February 27. With the same Democrat Super Majority who voted it into place, it’s a long shot. But I appreciate that some of his colleagues, like Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, have signed on to Asm. Kiley’s effort to see AB5 stopped in its tracks.

 

State Senator Shannon Grove has also instituted bill SB875 to see the AB5 repealed.

 

Should these efforts be blocked or fail, it is clear we the people of California need to vote these bastards out. One-party rule by union fiat is neither protection nor is it healthy for a functioning state. It is a fiefdom, and none of us signed up for that.

Recall Newsom efforts are still underway, despite the blocking by secretaries of states who are fearful of losing their little corner of power. Early voting has already started, and Super Tuesday is March 3. Californians, please stop voting party lines and union lines, and vote for saving freedom to earn a livelihood in the way you see fit, and an electorate that works for you.

The true State of the State is dependent on you; not the empty-headed Ken doll in the governor’s mansion.





A funny thing happened on the way to 2020…

13 02 2020

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you know what happened; and it is not funny. Among the numerous freedom-killing laws the California legislature concocted and the Leftist Governor Newsom signed into law is Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), hilariously named, the “Gig Worker” Bill. This bill is the bastard child of Assemblymember (woman? Who knows? *eye roll*) Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher of District 80 in San Diego County.  Delusional, and drunk on power, she claims she just wants “workers” to have good jobs with good benefits. But you watch her Twitter feed, and actually confront her couched language, and she exposes her true goal:

Lorena True Reason for AB5 Union Tweet 09-16-19

Despite conversations, lobbying, protestations by truckers, small business, freelance writers, musicians, independent contractors, and other “gig” workers who don’t make money through the traditional channel of a 9-5 employee, #Harridan Lorena got what she wanted. The Democrat Super Majority voted it in, and Leftist Gavin signed it into law.

The law went into effect on January 1, 2020, and has wreaked havoc on millions of Californians; many who either didn’t think the law affected them, or just were too busy trying to earn a living (Hello!), that they didn’t see it coming.

If you follow my Twitter or Facebook feed, or just do an Internet search, you can read the articles, and see the stories of people limited and destroyed by this law. Professions like interpreters and translators, who work for multiple agencies via 1099, are also being hit horribly. Small non-profits, theater companies, opera houses have had to shutter their doors. All because a legislature, who is essentially bought-and-paid-for by big union interest, decided that the only valid employment is full-time (and union) employment.

Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher’s big dream is to be the Secretary of State in 2022, and then probably governor, which is always a stepping-stone to the presidency.

My goal is to shatter her dreams the way she has shattered my, and others, livelihoods:

Repeal AB5

“What the bill really did was make it illegal for Californians to choose how, when, and where to work to support their families. Overnight tens of thousands of people in various industries […] found their income streams either entirely eliminated or severely curtailed.” — AB 5 Facts.

Let’s call it what it is: Evil. With a vote you tell millions of workers that what they do does not matter, and that they can no longer do it on their own terms. This is not only un-American, it is destructive. And as John 10:10 tells me, “The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy…”

For those outside of California, who would say, “Oh, that’s crazy California, they get what they deserve…” Take a look at Virginia, New York, and Illinois to see that these power-hungry Leftists are never satisfied with destroying their own fiefdoms, but will be coming for yours very soon.

Last week, the United States House of Representatives voted to approve H.R. 2474, also hilariously titled “Protecting the Right to Organize 2019” Act  (PRO Act).  Long story short, it’s AB5 on steroids, and it is a nationwide bill that they hope to make a national law. They want to wreak the same havoc that is happening in California on your little state. Welcome to the party, folks!

It is now on the floor of the Senate, and Minority Leader Schumer of New York (huh), has promised to get the votes to have it pass the Senate. Even if that happens (there is much doubt), President Trump has said he will not sign the act, and then it dies until they get someone in office who will do their bidding (Hello, Bernie?).

But if I know one thing it is this: these people are like cockroaches: they keep coming back, and they bring 5,000 of their friends with them! They are not going to stop until they get what they want. Destruction of your constitutional and God-given freedoms.

So I am doing what I know to do, for myself and for all who are affected by AB5, and will be affected by HR 2474 (PRO Act).

I am not going to stop until I see AB5 fully repealed, and this PRO Act and any of its permutations destroyed. Like President Trump recognizes, social media is very effective. So my Assembly critter (who voted YES on AB5) Chris Holden, Governor Newsom, Sens. Diane Feinstein and Kamala Harris have heard, and will continue to hear from me via Tweet, post, as well as other traditional means like letter and fax. They supported these turkeys, and I will keep throwing that in their face until the outcry is deafening. And trust me, it’s getting there.

Here is another beauty part: California in its infinite wisdom moved their State elections to March 3, which allows us to channel the AB5 Resistance to the ballot box. While early voting is already going on, we still are able to affect change. I am encouraging California voters affected negatively by AB5 to vote against the Assembly person who signed on to this debacle. Aside from withholding money (which is the union’s threat), these jokers only understand being primaried or voted out of office entirely.

So beyond what work I can scrounge up, this has consumed my days. Pray for me, and hit the tip jar if you feel so led.

Even if you are not affected by this evil law, you can support or advocate on behalf of those who are. If you are on Facebook, follow: Freelancers Against AB5 and Freelancers Against the ProAct.

And speaking of Twitter, Faces of AB5 (#ProAct) is doing yeoman’s work in not only keeping California’s legislature’s feet to the fire, but promoting stories and news that tells the truth about the devastation caused by this evil law.

Here are some important links:

AB5 Facts – To educate you on AB5.

Shannon Grove AB5 Stories – One of our state representatives has graciously set up a questionnaire for those affected by the law.

AB5 Stories  – Stories of hundreds who have been adversely affected since AB5’s implementation.

AB5 Classification Form – I have created a form to quantify the number of professions and counties in California affected by this law. If AB5 is hampering or destroying your ability to work, please fill it out.

Special shout out to Lauri Jon Caravella for her artwork that channels our protest, anger, and advocacy. All the artwork posted is hers. I’ll leave you with this gem:

Freelancers Sinking Ship Artwork (Lauri Jon Caravella)





The Little Writing Engine that Could…

1 02 2018

fashion-legs-notebook-working

“This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until its done. It’s that easy, and that hard.” — Neil Gaiman

Words of wisdom from a writer I greatly admire.

Amazingly enough, I’ve been doing just that: putting one word, then another word, then a paragraph, then an entire piece. So my resolution to write has so far been flowing like water.

In case you’re not cognizant of my latest writings, I thought I’d talk about what I’ve been up to…

My latest features at Communities Digital News focus on what I do best: commenting on the union of popular culture and politics. It’s Oscar season, and the movie The Post is up for Best Picture, probably due to the film’s tortured attempt to connect the Republican administration of 1972 to the Republican administration of 2017. Read my review of the film and my take on this comparison at The Post: Katharine Graham’s feminist manifesto fails as propaganda.

The March for Life and The Women’s March occurred during the same weekend. One is a pro-life civil rights event that has spanned 45 years, the other a two-year old progressive-leaning affair that masquerades as a women’s right manifesto, but appears to merely be a rant against the current Republican administration. Seems to be a common theme. I compare and contrast them at The March for Life vs. the Women’s March: Which will stand the test of time?

The best reflection of one’s skill and worth as a writer is when you are invited to write by people you admire. In the short space of 2018, I have had two invitations to do just that! An up and coming millennial entrepreneur asked me to write a press release for a project that involves the marriage of clothing, art, and hip hop music, that was launched the week of the Grammys.

The beautiful CEO of Habibi Bath and Body has asked me to contribute to her LOVE SERIES throughout the month of February. I am working on sharing tips on self-care, and how to truly nourish and appreciate the skin that you are in!

Stay tuned for those links in a future post.





50 Days to 50 Years: Day 19, Hope for the next Generation

13 07 2016

“We’re hiring. Get off that protest line and put an application in. And we’ll put you in your neighborhood, and we will help you resolve some of the problems you’re protesting about.” — Dallas Police Chief David O. Brown

David-Brown-1024x688

I do not have any children of my own, but I do have grand nieces and nephews; and I mourn for the world we are making for them. Just looking at our two presidential choices lets you know that we lack integrous leaders who can speak to the tragedies we have been facing, and offer an example for our children to look toward.

Like cream, Dallas Police Chief David O. Brown has risen to the top. With the recent murders of four Dallas police officers, his handling of the ongoing situation, as well as his honest and forthright assessment of the role of police in society, and being a black man in uniform has been refreshing, transforming, and has set a much needed tone in the conversation of police brutality and urban violence.

A New York Times article said, “He was hurting, self-effacing and, as he put it, a little fried. At a news conference on Monday, he spoke about the crisis facing law enforcement, his experience as a black man in Texas, guns and division, and what kept him going — ‘God’s grace and his sweet, tender mercies, just to be quite honest with you.'”

Another refreshing thing: someone who speaks of God and actually means it.

I believe Chief Brown will be a voice in these days of unrest. My prayer is that more leaders like him begin to rise; our nation, and the next generation, desperately needs them.





50 Days to 50 Years: Day 20, Prayer for the World

12 07 2016

“Prayer is not an old woman’s idle amusement. Properly understood and applied, it is the most potent instrument of action.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

13697044_10209524773979271_2570261483774681591_n

Found this in a friend’s feed, and it is so powerful. From America to Israel to France, the world has not been a stable, safe or happy place. I do not have words, but I do have prayers; and prayer is what will fuel sound action and proper change. Gandhi knew, many others need to learn; perhaps these times are part of the object lesson.





50 Days to 50 Years: Day 49, Happy Hour with Corey Woods

13 06 2016

“The beauty of friendship is loyalty.”
― Debasish Mridha M.D.

So I am a late bloomer to drinking and to Happy Hours; it just never was a part of my world until my late 30s and 40s. Now I love them, not merely for the discount liquor, but for the discount food! I admit it: drinking is an excuse to eat more, and I do far more of one than of the other!

This past year I have had the fun of trolling some local haunts with my friend Corey Woods. So for our “50 Days to 50 Years” date, we hit the Atwater Village Tavern on Glendale Boulevard, in what is the main street of Atwater Village Los Angeles. Corey gets the distinction of being the first participant of this 50-day “Odyssey” (His word—love it!).

Corey and I met in 2009 through his wife Andrea. Sadly, they are now divorced, but I am thankful that I have been able to maintain a friendship with them both. This is a rare thing, as one of the casualties of marriage dissolution is often the mutual friendships. But one of the traits I love about Corey is that he is loyal—if you are his friend, then you are a friend for life. That’s the way I roll too.

Had it not been for Andrea, Corey and I probably never would have met, because on their face, our lives are pretty different: He works long hours in sound and boom work in the entertainment industry, I spend my days in a Yoga studio or in front of a computer. Corey is an atheist; I am a devout Christian, and so on. Bur one of the hallmarks of my 50 years on earth that I am most proud is that differences have never been a determining factor in my choice of friends. I like people who are different than me because they give me a fresh perspective on life.

But friendship is also based on commonalities, and we have those too: we are both writers; we both have a biting sense of humor; we are blunt and to the point—a trait that is rare and unappreciated in Los Angeles; and, we also share similar ideological viewpoints: we are both constitutional conservatives. With this 2016 election cycle, there was no lacking of conversation and opinion.

I highly recommend Atwater Village Tavern, for the drinks and the eats. Corey had his favorite IPA, and he ordered me my current favorite libation, a Moscow Mule (killer!). The Happy appetizers included chicken and brisket tacos, pork nachos, and chicken wings; so a grand time was had knoshing, debating, and lamenting over the state of the world, the Republican party, and life in general.

Thank you, Corey for being first out the gate, being a loyal friend, and a fun barfly!

 





In My Orbit: Communities Digital News Hour

7 06 2014
Digital Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Digital Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Girl’s writing as part of Communities Digital News is reaping dividends. My latest column, White House Prevaricator Jay Carney calls it quits, has gotten tremendous response. So tremendous that I was asked to be a guest columnist on the Communities Digital News Hour yesterday to talk about White House Press Secretary Jay Carney’s resignation, the role of the White House Press Secretary, his or her relationship to the Washington correspondents, and how technology has altered that role and potentially may bring it to obsolescence.

I am about 15 minutes in, after the discussion on Bowe Bergdahl—which is also well worth your listening:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/communitiesdigitalnewshour/2014/06/06/commdiginews-hour-talking-bowe-berghdale-jay-carney-normandy-and-fathers-day

News Podcasts with Communities Digital News Hours on BlogTalkRadio.

Hope you enjoy your listen, and enjoy your weekend!




In My Orbit: Wendy Davis and the War on Women

28 01 2014
Digital Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Digital Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

So the Girl is ending the first month of the year getting rid of a cold. Thankfully, I am at the tail end of it, and I don’t live in the East, Middle, or Southern parts of the country. Getting well with 70-degree sunshiny days is about my speed right now.

The downtime has given me more time to catch up on reading and do some writing. The big news of 2013 so far is that my “In My Orbit” column that began at the Washington Times Communities has found a new home at Communities Digital News: telling the whole story 24 hours a day” is the site’s motto, and I’m happy to be a part of the telling! Same column, conservative politics, just a different location. So regular readers, please hop on over and make the switch! Communities Digital News.

My last two opinion columns have centered around Wendy Davis, the Texas state senator who is running for governor of the same. Wendy made her national debut with an 11-hour filibuster of a late-term abortion ban bill. Immediately she gained hero status on the Left, and scorn on the right. I don’t have much respect for anyone that would stand and support killing children, but was not surprised by the sudden rocket to stardom and adulation she received.

Wendy crafted a feminist-friendly “up-by-her-bootstraps” bio that included single motherhood, a trailer park, and working her way through undergraduate and law school educations. When the Dallas Morning News wrote a pretty softball piece that revealed the shadings of proof in her bio, that’s when the bubble burst.

“If this Dallas Morning News story shows anything, it is that Wendy Davis is out for herself and her own agenda. It really is no surprise that she would take a stand on such a selfish and barbaric act as late-term abortions, then build an entire campaign around that stand and a false biography. Her actions in her personal and political life reflect a grasping opportunism that sorely needs to be expunged from politics, not encouraged.”

Read the rest in my CDN pieces:

Wendy Davis embellishes her own life while denying life to the preborn, and

Powers is wrong: Right attacks Wendy Davis because she is  fraud.

The whole “War on Women” mantra is making a comeback, especially with all the talk of Hillary Clinton running for President in 2016. There needs to be a familiar false mantra to cover any attacks on her record as Secretary of State. You say, “Benghazi”, they say, “War on Women”! And so it goes…

Da Tech Guy has been good enough to document the real “War on Women”, and the people involved don’t have Rs behind their name. Also a good read: War on Women Update Carlos Henriquez D-MA Day 569/14.

The sad commentary on this is the only ones who seem to be addressing the topic are Republican men. Which is why I was happy to find this video by Chicks on the Right (h/t Stacy on the Right):

Palate cleanser. More please–other conservative women, what say you?








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